Marcus Borg makes some interesting points about Jesus.  “He was a remarkably free person. Free from fear and anxious preoccupation, he was free to see clearly and to love. His freedom was grounded in the Spirit, from which flowed the other central qualities of his life: courage, insight, joy, and above all compassion.” Why was he free?
I believe Jesus was free because he and the Father were one. God was his Abba. I believe that Jesus grew to know who he was and what it was that he was supposed to do.
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Jesus took time to pray and be in silence. These times prepared him for the action he was to take. Scholars are divided on whether he thought or did not think of himself as God in person.
Marcus Borg reflects, “Though the story of the historical Jesus ends with his death on a Friday in A.D. 30, the story of Jesus does not end there.” Here we are some two thousand years later. The story is far from over. The historical Jesus has died. The resurrected Jesus, the Jesus of our faith is very much alive and a powerful force in this world.
Jesus is a powerful force in my life. I sit with this powerful force during my centering prayer practice. I arise from each sit resurrected with new life! Amos Smith wonderfully describes what happens during centering prayer in his book, Healing the Divide.
“During prayer we don’t name the silence. It’s beyond names. But when we return from the luminous silence, we exclaim the holy name: Jesus. The Jesus Paradox becomes the best phrase we have for penetrating the silent mystery.
Jesus has two aspects, absolute God and relative human. In the deepest forms of prayer we move beyond the bodily fatigue, various distractions, and pain to experience the absolute or non-dual aspect of Jesus (Jesus’ Divinity).
When we return from prayer we experience the relative or dualistic aspect of Jesus once again (Jesus’ humanity). These are the two aspects of The Jesus Paradox: absolute consciousness beyond names and forms and relative consciousness steeped in language.”
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 Marcus J. Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, (HarperOne): 1995
Contemplative Light Course: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative journey through the intermediate and higher stages of the mystical path, The Devotional Practice of the Jesus Prayer offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. The historic practice of The Jesus Prayer joins with a thorough, experiential exposition of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism. To help make these traditional dimensions and phases of the spiritual life more accessible for the contemporary seeker, we also use the most relevant material from Integral Theory, Mindfulness, and World Spirituality. Check out this wonderful course.
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I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner. I am currently reading Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
Contemplative Light is a group of Spiritual Directors and writers. They offer a unique style of contemplative coaching based on the teachings and traditions of Christian Mysticism. Sign up for a Spiritual Map Session.